Trading Facebook for face time and other parenting problems

Marc Lalonde
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Amcal Family Services’ new parenting group can help


It's a brave new world for parents of teenagers. Amcal's new parenting support group can help.

It's a different world than the one we grew up in; parents today didn't have to worry about their teenage exploits being filmed surreptitiously, uploaded to Youtube and Facebook and then spread to the entire world via the Internet in mere minutes. We didn't have phones we carried with us everywhere and used them to communicate with our friends every second of every day.

You remember your own adolescence, don't you? Those who say they liked being around their parents when they were teenagers are either delusional or lying. Possibly both.

Now imagine that there is no single barrier to you communicating with your friends - and better yet, imagine how magnified everything was when you were a teenager.

And, now, I invite you to imagine that you are charged with parenting and guiding this teenager through life.

My kids are seven and two, and yet the idea of parenting adolescents in the 21st century makes me very nervous indeed.

Fortunately, Amcal Family Services are there. Simply put, Amcal is the go-to source if your family is in crisis - and you, the parent feel like a deer caught in the headlights.

Amcal's  weekly Community parents group series ‘21st century families,' kicks off Feb. 15 with the first of four sessions designed to help parents make sense of it all. They'll explore ‘the 5 Ws of parenting,' in the first session, followed up by a session on how to set reasonable boundaries everyone can live with, a third session on consistency and the importance of maintaining that consistency with regard to household rules and finally, a fourth session on helping clarify the household ‘contract,' detailing the teen's rights as well as outlining his or her responsibilities.

At $50 for the four-week session, it could be the biggest bargain you've ever picked up. As they say in credit-card commercials, some things are priceless.

Now, I don't have teenagers yet, but I know something about the value of having a harmonious household - and I know that $50 is a small price to pay for potential parenting peace. The sessions are offered in English at the Amcal head office, located at 7 Ste. Anne St. in Pointe Claire and run from Feb. 15 to March 7. The group is facilitated by Susan Layne, and costs $50 for all four sessions. For information and registration, contact Amcal Residential and Family Work Coordinator Delia Noel at 514-694-3161, ext. 223 or by e-mail at

Organizations: Family Services

Geographic location: Pointe Claire

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